There are several ways you can take action now to support immigrants and refugees. Check out the advocacy opportunities below to see how you can participate and stay engaged with what is happening now.
Stand With DACA Recipients
Over the past ten years, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people – including many of our fellow Christians – the opportunity to pursue their dreams, support their families, and serve their communities, while staying in the United States, the country they have grown up in.
But DACA was intended to be temporary. The program is facing challenges. Its current participants could find their protections ended at any time. No new applicants can apply. Only our Members of Congress have the power to resolve the plight of Dreamers. Would you sign a letter asking our representatives to take action this year?
Support Afghan Evacuees
So many of us were moved to compassion and action when we watched the US withdrawal from Afghanistan happen in August 2021. Our inboxes were flooded with women asking how they could help, and stepping up to advocate and welcome new neighbors. In the year since the withdrawal, over 70,000 Afghans have been evacuated to the United States.
The good news is that those evacuees have safe, temporary protection here in the United States. However, they don’t have any access to permanent legal status, and their protection could expire as soon as the end of 2023. Join us in advocating for an Afghan Adjustment Act to ensure a pathway to permanent, legal status.
Unmute Yourself, Support Dreamers
Congress has tried to pass various versions of the Dream Act for the last 20 years, but nearly 2 million Dreamers are still waiting for legal status. While DACA provides temporary relief for some, the actions taken under the previous administration illustrated how easily that could be challenged. Dreamers need a permanent legislative solution to provide stability for themselves, their families, and our communities.
Two-thirds of Americans support a solution that allows Dreamers to stay in the U.S. and earn a pathway to citizenship. The public support is there, but Congress needs to muster the political will to make this a reality. Take a few minutes to urge your elected officials to support Dreamers and provide a legal pathway to citizenship.
In Spring of 2021, thousands of unaccompanied children came to our southern border in need of protection. The Office of Refugee Resettlement had to quickly find age-appropriate care for these immigrant children. Unfortunately, some governors didn’t want migrant children cared for in their states. More than 150 women from 35 states contacted their governor advocated for their state to be a welcoming refuge for vulnerable children! While some governors still choose not to welcome migrant children, others relaxed their hard stances allowing for care to continue. We are so encouraged that women continue to raise their voices and speak up for these kids!
Our While In Our Care video series explores the ways in which we care for migrant children who are being processed through the US immigration system. Over 400 of you signed a letter asking First Lady Jill Biden to advocate for children within the current administration. Since this advocacy effort, we’ve seen the administration take positive steps for these children. President Biden formally rescinded the Zero Tolerance Policy (which was used to separate families at the border) and the administration has since established a Family Reunification Task Force to help reunite the thousands of families that were separated at the border under the previous administration.
In terms of the conditions for migrant children in U.S. care, President Biden has closed several detention facilities that were under investigation for poor conditions and inadequate medical care, and began plans in May 2022 to proactively prepare for safe housing for children who may arrive. There is still much progress to be made to ensure that children are always cared for in humane and dignified ways, so we continue to pay particular attention to this subject.
In 2020, over 25,000 in our community signed onto a letter to Ivanka Trump petitioning her to protect vulnerable children at risk of trafficking due to the suspension of key protections of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a public health order called Title 42 meant that children were being rapidly deported and expelled, instead of processed under the TVPRA guidelines. As an advisor to the President, and a mother who has been outspoken against human trafficking, we believed she was a key ally in the quest to protect children.
The good news is that a court order did re-implement some protections for children, and when President Biden took office, he completely suspended Title 42 for children (though did keep it in place for other populations). Since January 2021, all children arriving at the border go through the procedures to ensure they are not victims of trafficking.